Handmade Arcade’s thoughtfully curated Hands-on Handmade (HOHA) activity area underscores the event’s dedication to cutting-edge crafts, Pittsburgh’s independent art and craft communities, and the global DIY maker movement. Free to all ages, HOHA invites attendees to participate in inclusive, engaging, and innovative art, craft, tech and learning activities led by Pittsburgh-based artists, art collectives, and nonprofit arts organizations.
Situated adjacent to our vendor marketplace, HOHA features short and daylong drop-in projects, demonstrations, mini-tutorials, make-and-take activities, games, performances, and large-scale art installations. Designed to bridge the gap between consumers and producers, HOHA engages attendees and vendors alike in a shared creative process, while encouraging the public to consider the role of art, craft and tech in their own lives and increasing awareness about handmade locally produced goods.
FULL-DAY ACTIVITIES (11 a.m. — 7 p.m.):
Silk Screen Monsters and Hand Stitching with Artists Image Resource
Attendees will join artist-educators from AIR to create silkscreened monsters. Participants will learn all about the process of screenprinting and make their own monster to take home. Students from CAPA High School will partner with AIR to guide participants with the screenprinting as well as with hand stitching their silkscreened artwork.
Live Arcade with City of Play
Inspiring creative play in urban settings, City of Play’s exciting all-ages Live Arcade features a 10-foot tall version of the classic game Jenga. Stop by and join us in the fun!
1,000 Birds with The Union Project
The 1000 Birds Project connects people through the creation and sharing of art.
At after-school programs, drop-in centers, nursing homes, outreach events, and UP’s ceramics studio, hundreds of people have come together to create a flock of more than 1,000 unique clay birds. To accompany their bird, participants are encouraged to write a brief message expressing their hopes for their community. That bird is left to be fired at Union Project, and the participant can bring home another completed bird of their choosing, with a message from a different member of the community. In this way, messages of hope are created and passed among individuals.
Union Project uses the arts to bridge gaps between communities. The 1000 Birds Project is one way we can all help in bringing Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community to life.
Bird Conservation Coloring Mural with BirdSafe Pittsburgh
Scientists from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and BirdSafe Pittsburgh—a local bird conservation partnership—and local artist and Handmade Arcade vendor Ashley Cecil—are teaming up to host this collaborative coloring mural-making project for attendees of all ages! Ashley’s large-scale drawing—which will be colored in by participants during Handmade Arcade—will feature an illustration of six bird species native to Pittsburgh that are threatened by urbanization. Grab a crayon and talk with a scientist about how you can save birds while you get your color on! By studying the birds in the coloring mural and talking with a bird scientist, participants will have opportunities to learn about the problem of bird-window collisions—one of the leading human-induced causes of bird fatalities—and what they can do to ease the problem. Handmade Arcade shoppers will also have a chance to sign up on-site for a citizen science program to help save birds.
Youth Make and Play with TechShop
Highlighting STEAM programming and experiences, TechShop will demonstrate a variety of learning activities to the public, such as: 3D printing; the use of LittleBits circuit blocks to build robotic cars; laser wood cutting; and the assembly of laser cut geodesic domes.
HALF-DAY ACTIVITIES (11 a.m. — 3 p.m.):
Kinetic Kaleidoscopes with Carnegie Mellon University
Led by artists from CMU’s Integrative Design, Arts and Technology (IDeATe) program, participants will learn to make their own reflective shadow puppets, test them out using a mechanized optical table, and contribute to an ever-changing moving light and shadow show. IDeATe is currently prototyping a low-cost DIY optical table with moving elements for creating abstract cinematic visual effects, and will be testing out this new technology at Handmade Arcade. Using a variety of materials participants will have fun making shapes with scissors and reflective Mylar film; observe the complexities of light reflecting and occluding using curved shapes; experiment with dynamic visual composition; and work collaboratively with others to contribute to a larger art-tech project.
LED Pennant Banners with Assemble
Attendees will join artist-educators from Assemble to create felt pennant banners that incorporate LED lights. Participants will build confidence through making while also learning about crafting with LEDs. Crafters will use a variety of repurposed and new materials to decorate and customize their pennants. The goal of the project is to explore the expression of personal identity through crafting with felt and LEDs.
Robot Gear Printing with Sarah Heinz Advanced Robotics Program (SHARP)
Kids and kids at heart can let their imaginations run wild as they learn to use old robot parts and gears to create new pop art. Attendees will make and stamp, with Robot parts, to create cards that can serve as an event keepsake, a gift for a friend or loved one, or an original wok of contemporary art.
Paper Monster and Owl Bookmarks with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Using decommissioned library magazines and books, participants will learn how to fold paper to make corner bookmarks.
Brush Lettering Workshops with Gardner Ann’s by Katie Harbison
Learn creative ways to master and beautify your own style of lettering! Participants will make their own cards, gift tags and prints for their own homes or to share as gifts. Katie will also teach skills for sprucing up envelopes, and creating original prints and cards, and much more! Participants will experiment with a variety of materials and techniques, while learning about composition, lettering, light, shape, and more.
Profiles of Pittsburgh with The Ellis School (Activity runs from 11 a.m. — 5 p.m.)
Working alongside students from The Ellis School, participants will collaborate on a mural celebrating both Pittsburgh’s bicentennial as Ellis celebrates it’s centennial birthday. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own vinyl cut-outs to take home with them and contribute to a community-based mural.
Puppeteer Mike Mascaro (Activity runs from 12 p.m. — 6 p.m.)
Keeping the day lively and entertaining will be a 10-foot tall dancing puppet making his way throughout the convention center.
HALF-DAY ACTIVITIES (3 p.m. — 7 p.m.):
Altered States with Creative Living and Wellness
Roll up your sleeves and channel your inner kindergarten-age imagination to experiment with a variety of artmaking tools and repurposed materials. Attendees of all ages will be encouraged to create, play, explore and have fun making gift tags and other goodies.
Tiny Worlds with Hatch Art Studio
Led by artists from Hatch, attendees will use everything from fabric, feathers and tiny trees, to buttons, stamps, and more, to create snowy scenes, glittering cities, miniature towns–or anything else they can imagine–inside a very tiny tin.
Plastic Bag Art with artist Melissa Mason
Participants will discover how to reuse plastic bags in simple, fun and crafty ways. Participants will have the option to create and take home small pouches or daisy-like flowers made out of plastic shopping and newspaper bags. Attendees will learn how to weave on cardboard squares with yarn, and also to use bloom looms.
Fabric Button Accessories with Spool
Channel your inner fashion designer with the owners of Spool, a fabric shop, sewing studio, and Maker gathering space located in Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood. Make your own fabric covered pins or hair accessories from a variety of fabrics used in sewing projects and personalize your own wearable creations!
Postcard Making with Urban Pathways Charter School
Make and customize your own postcards to display at home or send to a friend via snail mail! Use stamps, stickers and a variety of artmaking materials to customize your printed piece. Some postcards from the day will also be sent to U.S. soldiers serving abroad over the holiday season.
TWO-HOUR ACTIVITY (5 p.m. — 7 p.m.):
Block Printing with Pop Craft
Participants will make their own print using different block combinations. Attendees will also learn about the use of re-purposed materials for making art and crafts.
Take a look back at past Hands-on Handmade activities.
Past participants include:
Cut & Sew Studio
Artists Image Resource
CAPA High School
Power Up (women’s health advocacy program)
Society for Contemporary Craft
Fiberarts Guild Of Pittsburgh & Fiber Art International 2013
Continuum Dance Theater
Carnegie Library Of Pittsburgh
Apothecary of Esoteric Panacea
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
Crafty Yoga with Natalie Roberson
Urban Pathways Charter School
Puppeteer Mike Mascaro
And many more . . .